Cricket: Hartley follows Batty's blast

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The Independent Online
Yorkshire. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .331 and 319

Leicestershire . . . . . . . . . . . . . .373 and 163

Yorkshire win by 114 runs

YORKSHIRE have waited a long time for their first Championship win of the season and they have not been short of reminders about it. When it materialised here yesterday, they had the double satisfaction of achieving it over a side who have been among the front runners all season and in a match that at one stage seemed beyond redemption.

At the end of the second day Leicestershire, 34 behind with eight wickets standing, had visions of only a modest fourth- innings task, if they needed to bat at all; yesterday, needing 278 on a wearing pitch, they were bowled out in only 44 overs for 163.

Somewhere between those events Yorkshire, helped by the breathing space and time for self-assessment that the four-day game provides, got their act together, starting when Peter Hartley and Craig White, with the second new ball, precipitated the loss of eight wickets for 71 runs.

Heartening though that was, Yorkshire were still only 166 ahead with four wickets left yesterday and Leicestershire would have had high hopes of polishing them off. The ball, however, did not turn as lavishly as predicted and was old enough for Richard Blakey and a series of partners to play with some comfort against the quicker bowlers.

Moreover, among the number of fierce, uncomplicated blows was one from Blakey off Gordon Parsons which struck Phil Simmons, helmeted at short leg, over the left eye, necessitating several stitches and putting him out of the match.

By the time Jeremy Batty struck the first five balls of a David Millns' over for four, completing the addition of 51 from eight overs, Leicesteshire knew they had to bat mighty well to win - if they could overcome the new ball.

Alas for them, and their hopes of moving to the top of the table, it did not happen. In the awkward pre-lunch session, the estimable Hartley got one to bounce and had Nigel Briers caught in the gully, which could only have increased the sense of foreboding among those watching from the dressing-room.